Local News

Higher gas prices fuel interest in motorcycle riding

Posted July 2, 2008 6:45 p.m. EDT
Updated July 2, 2008 9:41 p.m. EDT

— As fuel prices keep climbing, people are steering towards something smaller and more open. Motorcycle safety classes are filling up, as folks opt to roll on two wheels – rather than four.

“I think if more people rode motorcycles, scooters ... one it's going to help the environment. Two you're going to save on gas,” motorcycle rider Patrick McNair said.

McNair recently completed his motorcycle safety training at Johnston County Community College.

“We have seen an increase in our motorcycle classes. The classes are filling up rather quickly,” said Talbert Myers, with Johnston County Community College.

Myers said students are now signing up months in advance for motorcycle classes.

“The increase may be due to an increase in gas prices,” Myers added.

While enrollment in the motorcycle course is going up, on the very same campus, enrollment in the truck driver training program appears to be going down.

“It easily could be attributed to the higher cost of gasoline,” said Paul Jump, with the North Carolina Truck Driver Training School.

Jump said he has seen a sharp decline this spring and summer in truck driver class enrollment.

“The first two classes of this year were over enrolled. ... The last two classes, they are under enrolled,” he said.

Instructors said some of the enrollment decline may not be about fuel prices, but rather the cost of getting to class.

A slight decline in non-essential or personal interest classes has also been noted as fuel prices increase.